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The Princess and I had an interesting chat on Friday… August 14, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in politics, The Princess, theology.
1 comment so far

…night after she arrived. She is homeschooled by my mother (and has been for 6 years now), so she has the most incredible vocabulary of any 13 year old I’ve ever known – myself excepted, perhaps. Anyway, she was looking through my DVD’s for something to watch when she stumbled across “Fahrenheit 9-11”. The fact that I am the “family liberal” is something of a running joke. My parents, sister and her husband, brother, and now The Princess are all conservative – so are all my in-laws, so husband is the standout in his family as well. For the record, I consider myself to be a moderate or an independent. I joke that it’s because I actually have an ounce of compassion for people who’ve made some bad choices (having made a few myself!), and they call me a bleeding heart. So it goes…

I don’t know, I guess I thought at 13 she would be more…malleable? But she’s got her opinions and they are SET as far as she’s concerned. She adores Ann Coulter, whom I find to be repulsive simply for her sheer rudeness. Guess what the kid did – she offered to lend me her latest book!! I explained I found her to be completely hateful in the way she expresses herself, and that I preferred not to read her work as she calls liberals “godless”, and I don’t think that I particularly am. Then I told her I’d read it if she’d watch “Fahrenheit”. 🙂

The Princess tried to feel me out on a few other issues…she likes that we agree that people receiving welfare should be accountable for trying to improve their earning capacity, especially after I explained to her that without Medicaid she never would have seen a doctor as a baby and without daycare assistance I might have dropped out of college. We flowed back and forth between political and religious issues, and she asked me whether I thought that people who commit suicide go to hell. I answered an emphatic “absolutely NOT”. Admittedly, I wondered why she was asking, but I’m assuming that it’s something my mom is covering with her in religion class (she’s being raised Catholic by my parents). I told her that I thought when someone commits suicide, God gathers that person in His arms and says “I’m sorry you were in such pain on earth that you felt you had no other choice but this, but you don’t have to be in pain anymore.” I’m not 100% sure she liked my answer, but husband interjected that he believes that God can see through mental illness, and people who commit suicide are depressed, which is one form of mental illness. She said she’d have to think about that. I was SO PROUD to hear that. True, her opinions have been informed by being raised in a conservative family, but she is beginning to differentiate herself from my parents. She may grow up to be a dyed-in-the-wool conservative like the rest of them, but I don’t think I have to fear that she won’t have considered the other side of the issues.

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When I met with my spiritual director… July 7, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in prayer, theology.
4 comments

…this past weekend, she asked me if I was still interested in a class she will be conducting come October called “Retreat in Daily Life”. It had been several months since I had thought about it last, so I asked her to refresh my memory. She said it uses the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to teach people how to open themselves to God. It will mean committing to driving to her home (about a one hour drive) once every week for seven months.

I felt bad that I hesitated. This class sounds like it has the amazing potential to open me up to something I’ve deeply desired for a long time – a more meaningful prayer life. But hesitate I did, and J saw it on my face. She asked what I was worried about, and I blurted out something to the effect of, “What if I can’t do it right?”

See, that’s how I’ve always been. I want to be an expert the first time I do something. It was apparent when I was a child and quit every activity that my parents put me in, from baton-twirling to gymnastics to piano lessons and Irish-language lessons. It continued as an adolescent and young adult when I began running away from home after fights with my parents, and later on when I would periodically take a semester off college when I ran into troubles in my personal life and relationships. The first two years of our marriage scared me to death because I was constantly conflicted – I had an inner voice telling me, “This is HARD. Maybe you two should just admit you made a mistake and get out while you can.” and it battled with the other voice that said, “Who ever said marriage was easy? You’re old enough now to know that in marriage, you made a commitment to see it through the rough times. So get that “divorce” word out of your head and go apologize.” Our culture is completely wrapped up in the idea of instant gratification. I want my food fast, my photos in one hour, and a perfect body within a week of beginning to exercise when I’ve never done it before.

The same has been true of my prayer life. The first time I made a decision that it was worthy of improving, I tried to do Morning Prayer, Noon Prayer, and Evening Prayer, and I said I would do it every day forever and ever, and that was that. That lasted for about the three days that I was on the Walk to Emmaus retreat. J told me to pick up a “Forward Day by Day” booklet at church, and to read the daily commentary as well as the Gospel reading for the day, to find five minutes every day for solitude and silence, and that we would go from there, working up to one hour a day by the time class starts in October. I’m afraid…afraid I won’t have the time, or that when I’m trying to pray I’ll feel other things trying to call my attention away, or that I won’t get anything out of the experience – I’m afraid I won’t hear God if I try too hard.

I received an anonymous comment… June 30, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in theology.
3 comments

…on my post “Late to the party”, and since I don’t know who left it or from whence they came, the only place I can really discuss it is in a new post.

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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “Late to the party…“:

Do you have any problems with some of the decisions your church made? Like saying that Jesus is not the only way to Salvation? Or that homosexuality is not a sexual sin?
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Well, Anonymous, let me first say that I cannot speak with any authority whatsoever on “the decisions the church has made”. I’ve only been an Episcopalian for a few years, and am not well versed in all the resolutions and official pronouncements that have come out of all of our conventions over the years. So I have no idea if the church has said that “Jesus is not the only way to salvation” or “homosexuality is not a sexual sin”. I only know what I believe about those topics. I have come to my beliefs through reading Scripture, looking at Church tradition, and acknowledging that my reason and my experience play a valuable role in developing my understanding of what it means to have been created by God. I also know that as a baptized member of the Body of Christ, the church welcomes me to worship and share Eucharist with them regardless.

I’m a monotheist – I believe in one God. I don’t believe that there is one God FOR ME, or one God FOR CHRISTIANITY, but that there is ONE GOD who created us all, and that at the end of time, we will be reunited with God who created us, period. God has a plan of salvation for all of us, Christians and non-Christians alike. Human beings through time and history and space have put different faces and names to God and have created multitudes of different religions, all in an effort to touch the face of their Creator. I believe Jesus was the Incarnation of God and the Messiah. The only one? I don’t know. Did He think of Himself that way? I don’t know. There’s a lot of things I don’t know. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about them – on the contrary, I think about them all the time. But I never seem to get any closer to the answers, and I think that’s ok.

I don’t believe homosexuality is a sexual sin. I don’t even really know what the term “sexual sin” refers to, since I think abusive sexual acts are very rarely about sex and most often about power and control, as is ALL sin. Sin is about our way, not God’s way. I believe promiscuity, adultery, divorce, abuse, intimidation – these are all sexual in nature, and they are sinful behavior and/or acts. I’ve read every argument for and against homosexuality – the orientation and the actual physical act – and I simply cannot wrap my mind around the idea that two consenting adults in a loving and lifelong relationship is an affront to God. I just can’t. I meet God every day in the presence and persons of my husband and son, and I have to believe that gay couples can do that, too, or I’d have to be against marriage for everyone.

Late to the party… June 23, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in Episcopal, theology, vocation.
3 comments

I was on vacation during the big Episcopal Church goings on at GenCon these past two weeks, and even though I was well aware that some important resolutions regarding our response to the Windsor Report were going to be voted on and a new Presiding Bishop was going to be elected, I made the conscious choice to, *GASP*, not follow any news or blogs while I was gone. I was determined to enjoy uninterrupted family time, Shamu, tubing down the river, good Mexican food, and no exercise whatsoever. So, upon our return, I was delighted to learn about the election of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as the first ever female Presiding Bishop. Amazing! And even though I was several days late to the news, I found myself shedding tears of joy and explaining why it was SUCH A BIG DEAL to my dear husband.

But now…oh dear, I am definitely all “convention’ed out”. I can’t even begin to imagine how exhausting/exhilarating it must be to actually be AT one instead of trying to read all the emails and news links after the fact! In fact, now that I think about it a little harder…I don’t think I’d like it at all. I love to debate as much as the next “church nerd”, but over IMPORTANT ISSUES, not over how we’re going to phrase a resolution. That kind of stuff seriously gets on my nerves, because I just want to stand up and scream “Can we celebrate Eucharist or go work at the soup kitchen or something already?!”

That being said, I am well aware that how to phrase a resolution can be VERY important stuff, and thank goodness for all the talented and dedicated lay folks and clergy who have the ability to spend hours trying to work it out. Of course, we all have our own perceptions of what’s “important”. For some, it’s “upholding the traditional faith and order”, and for others, it’s “trying to discern how the Holy Spirit may be guiding us in new directions”, and for those of us trying to walk the Via Media, it’s pleading “Can’t we all just get along? There are hungry people and tired people and sick people and misunderstood people out there who NEED US!”

As I spend this year in discernment for the priesthood, new ideas are occurring to me all the time about where in ministry I might belong – what are my talents? What am I dedicated to? When I think about why I want this so much, what do I actually envision myself doing every day?

The past few weeks, as I continue to read everything that is recommended to me, I have begun thinking more about how I can be the most effective Episcopalian Christian possible (You can tell I have a degree in management, can’t you? The word “effective” is always a dead giveaway!). I have known Episcopalians who like to laugh about evangelism being a dirty word and I like the jokes about someone’s great grandmother donating that light bulb as much as the next person. But let’s get real. You can’t talk about your faith with any credibility if you don’t live it, and if you live it by volunteering but never talk about it to people outside your church, you are just as single-dimensional. I’ve always had twin passions for the idea of ecumenical dialogue and Christian education – I adore telling people who are interested in knowing what Jesus Christ, through the Incarnation and through His Church and the sacraments and through the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ, of which we are ALL a part, is all about. I guess when you grow up in an evangelical-dominated geographical area, that “personal testimony” stuff gets into you whether you want it to or not!

I’ve been considering the idea of a military chaplaincy. What better way to combine those passions? And what an incredible challenge…anyways, it’s just bouncing around in my head…

I was listening to a conversation… May 15, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in theology, work, worship.
5 comments

…between two of my coworkers today, both of whom are absolutely delightful women – I can’t even tell you how much laughter we’ve shared with each other in the almost-year that I’ve worked here. Anyway, both of them are Pentecostal. One is the only-wears-dresses and doesn’t-wear-makeup-or-watch-TV sort, and the other worships at an Assemblies of God church and has no problem with pants or makeup, but thoroughly rejects anything secular in her choice of TV or music. I love these women, I really do. We talk about all manner of things having to do with their worship style versus mine (they call theirs “pew-jumping”!), and they love to talk about the Bible and what particular verses might be trying to teach them. These conversations are always illuminating to me, because we have such different approaches to the Scriptures, but I never say anything. I guess I don’t want to seem argumentative, or perhaps I just know that no matter what I say their opinions are fixed and won’t be changed, so why bother? (Hmmm, that’s kind of a cruddy attitude for a wannabe seminarian…)

But in the course of this conversation, a rather disturbing idea occurred to me. It was that, somehow, it seems no matter how much they claim to be free from all fear because they are saved, they are very afraid indeed – afraid of challenges to their ideas, and afraid to try and really embrace the idea of a God who is bigger than they are, and whose ways are unknowable. They say they are open to the amazing workings of the Holy Spirit in ways which non-Pentecostals are not, but there seem to be a limited number of forms those workings take – speaking in tongues, holy laughter, and being slain in the Spirit are just a few. I’ve asked one of them if they think there is any possibility that maybe, just maybe the Spirit works in a quieter way through our Church and through the gradual changing of people’s hearts in ways that serve to break down gender discrimination, homophobia, and racism. Do the workings of the Holy Spirit have to be loud and immediately obvious at a glance? The gist of the answer was that these things are not the working of the Holy Spirit – we are being “led astray”, because God has already told us what everyone’s role in society is, through the Bible.

I kind of had to end the conversation at this point on an “agree to disagree” basis, because it would be too hard to work with someone who you believe is firmly in Satan’s clutches, and if we went any further that might be the conclusion she ended up drawing about me! I believe it is human nature to seek out a better understanding of and a deeper relationship with that which created us – God. But God is not a person – and I don’t want Her to be! I want to understand God’s will for me, but I don’t want to understand God.

Nonetheless, a happy 100th birthday to the Pentecostal movement! This same friend I had the above conversation with was telling me how she was about to take her 4 year old son out of “children’s church” and let him start coming to “big people’s church”. When he asked her what he was supposed to do and how he was supposed to behave, she said “well, you sit down and be quiet”. When she told me this story later, she followed up with, “And right after I told him that, I remembered, “wait a minute – we’re Pentecostal!”

I met with my spiritual director last night… May 13, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in Boy-o, prayer, theology, worship.
3 comments

…since it’s the last time I’ll be able to do so until after the wedding madness and our subsequent vacation to Sea World in June. It’s only the third time I’ve met with her, so I’m still at the stage of not really knowing what to expect out of the relationship, if relationship is indeed the right word for it. Due to some scheduling conflicts, I had to take Boy-o with me, and I was so happy that she didn’t mind, but I was out of my head if I thought for one minute that she and I were going to be able to have any type of normal conversation with a rambunctious 2 year old in the room!

He was playing with the sunglasses he had gotten for his birthday. I had shared with her some of the events of my past and some of what happened this past week, and we were talking about the idea of being in bondage to the past and I was relating it to something I’ve been reading about God freeing us from bondage being a repetitive theme through Scripture – hey, these concepts may be old hat to some of you RevGals, but they’re new to me, ok? 🙂 – when we heard a *crack* – Boy-o had sat on the sunglasses and broken an earpiece, and he was now angry they wouldn’t fit on his face anymore. He started to cry and throw a fit, and I was embarrassed. I tried to hug him, but he was too mad for that. I tried to give him the broken sunglasses back, but that made him angry, too. I tried to hide the glasses from him, but that made him scream louder. I was getting progressively more embarrassed at my inability to control my child’s temper in front of my spiritual director, and I finally just told her that I didn’t know how to handle the situation correctly. She said that I had to let him grieve the loss of the sunglasses, and that being only 2, he didn’t have the words to say so – he was expressing his frustration the only way he knows how, and I had to honor that experience. So, I sat back for a minute and let him scream. Then I took his face in my hands and said, “I know you’re mad, but you have lots of other toys over there to play with…your puzzle, your cars, and your Elmo.” With that, the screams subsided into sobs, and he said, “Elmo?” and that was the end of that. It was all over with much more quickly than when I have spanked him and said, “You do NOT throw fits!” The broken sunglasses went into my pocket, and he played the rest of the time while I laid on her floor and we continued talking about control and being freed from that need through the understanding that God loves me with as much (and more) desperation as I love Boy-o…and to relate it to the bondage theme, that while I may think I’m in control of a given situation and that is in fact what makes it feel freeing to me, it is really just a different way of being in bondage.

I found out recently… April 12, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in family, theology, worship.
2 comments

…that the town in which I work was founded in large part by a handful of Jewish families, and that, until two years ago, it was home to the only synagogue in the state south of the capital (two years ago the synagogue shut down). So, when shopping for tonight’s Seder I was somewhat surprised that I was unable to find matzoh in either of the town’s grocery stores. I’m substituting pita.

This will be the third year that we have celebrated Seder. The text we use is adapted from the Christian Passover Seder for Holy Thursday, which can be found on the Women for Faith & Family website. Needless to say, we haven’t ever been able to actually do the meal on Holy (Maundy) Thursday itself because of various familial and church obligations, but we try and get as close as possible. The Jewish Passover begins tonight, so I thought it would be a good night.

The first year, I prepared the meal for my family and for my in-laws, when I was pregnant-out-to-here with Boy-o. My family was familiar with the ritual, because the Catholic parish I grew up in celebrated Seder on Holy Thursday. My Methodist in-laws weren’t familiar with it, so I made sure they had LOTS of reading parts! Last year, Will and I hosted it in our home and I invited a few very close friends, some Christian, some not. This year, due to the fact that I have a two year old and am a notorious procrastinator, it’s gonna be just Will and me. Since daylight savings time has just started, Gabe will undoubtedly be in bed by sundown when we get started. And trust me, he is a child of routines – this is not a kid whose sleep patterns you want to interfere with!

Why do we do Seder? Because our celebration of the Eucharist was born of the Jewish Passover, because Jesus and his disciples were Jewish, because Easter is about our reconciliation with God through Christ, and because we feel it’s essential to celebrate the past in order to fully explain the Good News of the Gospels. It’s all one story, a story that stretches from the ancient Israelites and the first Passover, to you and me and our families and neighbors and those whom we love and those with whom we disagree.

And it’s darned good eatin’, too!

Tonight’s menu:

lamb
tomato, onion, and spinach salad
wild rice
pita bread
haroseth (a mixture of apples, cinammon, raisins, honey, and red wine)
red wine – lots!

Elements of the Seder ceremony:

lamb (pesach), applies to the Lamb of sacrifice as well as to the deliverance from Egypt and to the feast itself.

unleavened bread (pita, not matzoh in this case), representing the unleavened bread prepared for the hasty flight by night from Egypt.

green herbs (parsley) dipped in salt water, representing tears of sorrow shed during the captivity of the Lord’s people.

bitter herbs (horseradish), representing the bitterness of slavery and suffering in Egypt.

haroseth represents the mortar used by Jews in building palaces and pyramids of Egypt during their slavery.

wine is dipped from a common bowl. The ‘Four Cups,’ Thanksgiving, Hagadah (‘telling’), Blessing, and Melchisedek (‘righteousness’), are “four different words for redemption, spoken by God to Moses.”

A blessed and meaningful Holy Week to all.

So, I did it! March 27, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in theology, vocation.
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Last Wednesday, I worked up the guts to talk to my rector, Father M., about what I now believe to be a call to Holy Orders. Well, in actuality, I talked all around it, but eventually (it took me about 45 minutes!) I came to my point, and I’ll be darned if he didn’t sound…well, EXCITED for me, sorta! I let him know that I am in spiritual direction and trying to discern the nature of this call, and he offered to guide me in academic preparation for what I would eventually face in seminary, should I reach that point. He also told me he would find out what needed to be done before I could make application to the diocesan aspirancy program, which is a year long program for potential candidates for ministry that precedes BACOM (Bishop’s Advisory Committee on Ministry). It is BACOM that gives the recommendations as to whether a candidate should be allowed to go to seminary, begin the deacon formation program, take some time for further study and prayer and come back the following year, or give up and go home. My understanding is that the bishop can override BACOM’s recommendations, but rarely does. We’re in a funny place in our diocese at the moment because we are in the beginning stages of electing a new bishop, and so I am hearing that our current one is not making many decisions about potential candidates for ministry at this time, since he won’t be in office to oversee their formation. I’ve been advised, therefore, to be patient. Me! Be patient! HA!

I know that’s logical, but also frustrating for someone like me who has this idea that I have had this call almost my entire life, and now here I am being told that I need to wait some more. So, I relaxed. I prayed. I thought about it. It’s not, after all, God’s fault that I waited until I was 30 to actually try and do something about this, and that I will be in my mid to late 30’s by the time I am ordained, if that is in THE PLAN. I’m trying to be peaceful in the knowledge that other things had to happen in my life first for me to be equipped to handle the rigors of the process.

On the bureaucratic end of things, Father M. told me yesterday that he found out it is required that I be “canonically resident” in the diocese for 2 years before making application for aspirancy, which leaves me just barely over one year to go. I’ve decided it is one year in which I intend to continue in spiritual direction, periodically go on retreat, and read, read, read. My theology is not yet developed enough to know who I want to read, so I’ve taken some outside recommendations and ordered the first book in The New Church’s Teaching Series, The Anglican Vision, and The Last Week by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. If anyone wants to suggest others to get started with, I’m open!

Cross-posted at Lent 40days 40miles I definitely … March 12, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in prayer, theology.
4 comments

Cross-posted at Lent 40days 40miles

I definitely walked my mile (and then some) yesterday! I spent the day on retreat at a Benedictine monastery near the capital city, and since the weather was just gorgeous, I spent most of the day walking the grounds and reflecting. I had never been to a monastery before, so I really had no idea what to expect, but I guess I anticipated that aside from a “welcome”, I wouldn’t hear another human voice all day. Boy, was I wrong. Nuns can be *quite* chatty. In my travels around, I exchanged a few words with a young man whom the sisters allowed to fish in the pond on the property. There was also another woman staying in the guest house with me, and she wrote me a nice note before I left asking for my prayers and saying she enjoyed sharing the “sacred space” with me. All in all, a very refreshing experience, and though it was a brief one, I hope to return soon. I re-gained some much needed perspective on certain events in my life from one of the spiritual directors, enjoyed a delicious kidney bean salad, participated in the community worship, and walked my socks off! Blessings to all of you!
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Ok, that was what I posted at the other blog. I didn’t want to bore my fellow walkers with anything more, but I really did have an amazing retreat. I did seek some spiritual direction from the prioress, and thanks to her gentle prodding, I gained some new insight into a few old doubts of mine. Furthermore, she was able to put me in touch with a lay spiritual director a little closer to home, and I will begin talking with her next week. If it wasn’t Lent, I’d shout, “Halleluja!” out loud!

My labyrinth walk was a spiritually violent experience. The atmosphere around me was very peaceful, but there was cacophony inside my head. “Look how far away you are! You’re never going to finish this thing!” “I could reach my arm out and be in the center if not for that dumb brick right there!” “Why am I here, God? It’s a beautiful Saturday – shouldn’t I be home with my family and chasing my son around the yard?” And then, peace, contentment, when I finally did reach the center and sank to my knees. Then anger again, as I had to turn around and make my way back to the beginning. I really don’t know if labyrinth walking is my thing. Perhaps I’m not approaching it correctly. Perhaps there is no “correct” way. I don’t know.

After all my work of the last 24 hours, I think I deserve a Sunday afternoon nap. Yeah, that sounds good. Maybe I’ll write more later, maybe not.

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
-Psalm 27:4

i go through different phases in my blogging… February 20, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in blogging, life, theology, vocation.
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lately, i’ve been in a spiritual/discernment phase, praying a lot, thinking about lent coming up and if i am called to the priesthood. sometimes i get political, and sometimes i can’t think of anything to say and that’s when i go heavy on the memes and quizzes. sometimes i get very personal and post on what is going on in my family life, but most of the time i feel i don’t have anything to say that isn’t patently obvious to EVERYONE BUT ME, and so i say nothing at all, for fear that anyone who reads will be saying to the screen, “well, DUH! you mean you just now figured that out?!”

here is what i’ve figured out today – feel free to *thwack* my picture right between the eyes, if you must.

today i placed myself into someone else’s hands – i asked them to use their expertise to help me with a problem that i have been unsuccessful in helping myself with. and instead of feeling weak and dependent, like i just knew i would if i had to actually ask for help, i spent the drive home feeling…happy. so, what’s wrong with me? i stay out of church when i most need the sacraments and healing, i say mean things and start fights with the people i love because i want them to hug me and tell me everything is all right (the old “i hate you, don’t leave me” syndrome), and i persist in thinking that i can fix everything that is wrong all on my own. it has become a habit to push everyone away and then to resent it when they actually leave. i know intellectually that i must learn new ways of listening, new ways of communicating, but underneath that is a deep current of resentment that says, “if everyone would just do things MY WAY, everything would be all right!” i deeply, deeply resent that when i am going out on a wire to tell someone how i really feel or how i really see something that people actually have the gall to disagree with me, and i become fiercely angry at ANY response other than, “of course, you’re right.” i talk an amazing game about tolerance and respect, but when push comes to shove, it appears i have none for the people closest to me. or perhaps i’m just particularly down on myself today. it happens. i don’t know.

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on to another topic: the evolution of my attitude towards lent

i’ve been going round and round about what to give up for lent this year. it was actually not that many years ago that i even began to consider that it might not be necessary to give up something from the material world for lent, that perhaps giving up negative emotional qualities such as selfishness or shame might be healthier. that, in turn, led me to consider not giving up anything, material or emotional – instead i would do something that i don’t normally do, such as attend morning prayer at church, or stop procrastinating about inviting some of the new folks at church to dinner and just do it. but of course, the giving up of material things is the easiest to measure, and therefore i have a much more complete sense of satisfaction when i accomplish 40 whole days of deprivation from whatever it is i’ve chosen. and what, exactly, is wrong with that? (aside from the fact that is “easy” what i’m really supposed to be shooting for?) this year i was thinking about meat. all meat – beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and if i left anything out, that too. now, in light of the events from the last day that led to me seeking the help referred to above, i’m considering the idea that spending the lenten season in a constant feeling of deprivation might not be the best idea. and then again, my simply giving up meat is such a small thing compared to the sacrifice that Christ made for us. i know it’s a very childish perspective on lent. i want to grow into a better understanding of what this season is really for, but i don’t really know where to start.